Drugs are draining our funds

Eric Malo

Herald Staff Writer

Fire, police and EMS are doing everything to stop the overdose death toll from rising. 

According to the Summit County Sheriffs website, the Clandestine Methamphetamine Response Team has dismantled 396 meth labs sites in Summit County. 

Barberton and Norton had a combined total of 130 of those 396 sites. Note, not all 130 meth sites are labs. A methamphetamine site could be categorized as a lab, box, chemical cache and or dumpsite. 

Since 2016 there have been 865 overdose emergency room visits in Barberton and 137 deaths in 11 years according to the Summit County Public Health. 

The use of Narcan saves lives but comes at a cost. 

At the height of the Fentanyl epidemic, emergency crews were answering 50 to 80 overdoses a month and administering up to 200 doses of Narcan a month. The average cost for an overdose response is $254.13, according to Fire Chief Kim Baldwin. The price breaks down to $104.13 for three persons to respond and $150 per hour for the ambulance. That is a staggering $20,000 per month during the peak time in 2016.

Lt. Stephen Ionno wrote in an email to the Herald, “As of the first half of 2019, we are averaging 10 to 15 overdoses a month, administering 35 to 45 doses of Narcan.” 

If the trend continues, overdoses will cost the city over $45,000 for the year; this doesn’t include medical equipment and supplies. However, it’s unlikely this trend will continue, Lt. Ionno stated that there is a significant decline in overdoses during the winter months.

Narcan cost an average of $75 for a 4 mg dose. However, Summa Barberton Hospital does provide emergency first responders with free Narcan and other medical supplies on an exchange program.

Thanks to addiction recovery programs, project DAWN and the emergency responders overdoses are on a decline.

The Ohio Good Samaritan law states that “no person shall be liable in civil damages for administering emergency care or treatment at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor’s office, or other place having proper medical equipment, for acts performed at the scene of such emergency, unless such acts constitute willful or wanton misconduct.”

During an overdose, Lt. Steve Ionno writes, “The human body only has four to six minutes of oxygen reserve before brain death occurs. Even if a citizen administers Narcan the person may remain unresponsive, but you may have given them a chance to survive; you should always call 911.

12 Comments

  1. Always correct but still humble on August 18, 2019 at 8:40 am

    In a town like Barberton, drug prevention should start in 1st grade, and be taught every year until graduation. I remember having some in junior high and it scared the crap out of me. Need to start before the pushers and dealers get their hooks in.

    It would help a lot.

    • hypochondria on August 18, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      start sooner and in the home.there’s a pill or remedy for everything!!!

      • hypochondria on August 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm

        mom’s the O.G. pusher

  2. redraspmassberrymaster on August 11, 2019 at 8:13 am

    yes its drugs draining funds! and guns doing the shooting and knives doing the stabbing!!! Great work CNN!!!

    • Coach on August 11, 2019 at 10:46 am

      Heil Fuhrer

  3. Darth narcan on August 9, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    If we don’t administer narcan to these poor individuals, then they will never be able to snap out of their coma and get another hit of dope and you don’t want it going around that they are some kind of quiters do you? Can you live with that? Its the only thing in life that they have commited to and are actually achieving. To me thats worth the price of narcan!

  4. Trumptard on August 8, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Let these idiots overdose, their life obviously sucks so much that they risk their lives to escape. No sympathy and a waste of everyone’s time…the whole country’s going to shit and idiots shooting up unknown substances in their body are standing in the way of us turning that around.

  5. Coach on August 8, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    The taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for narcan. The costs and risks should remain solely with the junkie.

    • barb on August 8, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      coach how many alcoholics get help……. a drunks no different than a addict…

      • Anonymous on August 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm

        The city of Barberton doesn’t pay for an alcoholic to get help

      • redraspmassberrymaster on August 11, 2019 at 8:17 am

        way to use your common sense barb!!!

      • Allyson M Haught on August 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm

        really Barb, no difference huh? how many “drunks” are we paying to get help???

Leave a Comment